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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 3,310

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Grassley grants Kavanaugh accuser extension on how to proceed on possible testimony

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley granted a deadline extension to a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault to decide if and how she will testify, the Republican said on Twitter.

The Senate Judiciary Committee had delayed a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation after California professor Christine Blasey Ford's allegations emerged last week, and her lawyers and committee staff were negotiating the conditions of her testimony.

"Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr. Ford to decide if she wants to proceed (with) the statement she made last week to testify to the Senate," Grassley wrote on Twitter. "She should decide so we can move on. I want to hear her. I hope you understand. It's not my normal approach to be indecisive."

Grassley did not say if a new deadline has been set.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/republicans-set-monday-vote-kavanaugh-no-deal-hearing-010138951.html#mycomments

Looks like Sen. Grassley is trying to show some respect to Dr. Ford. The cynical interpretation is that they don't have the votes to confirm. We shall see.
Article is written by Doina Chiacu and Richard Cowan

The Democratic party since FDR has been the part of the common man/woman

But that theme has receded since Reagan. It's still there, but in the background. The Republicans' focus on being the party of "freedom" has caused a lot of mischief. Americans need to know that the Democratic Party is with them in their daily struggles, that it has their backs first and foremost. While the GOP is focused on freedom abstractly, Democrats should be countering that we really are the party of freedom for ALL (why Democrats support civil rights for everyone so strongly) and are the real party of opportunity. More focus on how Democratic policies can help SMALL business and individuals succeed in America. That's why policies such as affordable health care and education are so important, as well as consumer protection and the small business administration (which should be expanded). More focus on Democrats being more truthful than Republicans-- How powerful billionaires and corporations are subverting America though unchecked misleading marketing and propaganda. We need to counteract the GOP theme that government is evil-- rather that the government is us working together to potentially achieve great things like curing diseases or reaching the moon.

While DUers know these things as second nature, I find that the message of the common man has faded when talking to those not intensely political. The current debates about socialism and moderation are distractions that further weaken the message.

A new motto for Democrats: "The party of opportunity that has your back."

Trying to come up an elevator pitch that actually summarizes the best of the Democratic Party.
The problem is that the Democratic Party has such a large tent that there are so many ideas that underlie the Party's positions, that it's difficult to construct effective summaries.

"The party of opportunity that has your back." or
"The party of opportunity and fairness that has your back."

And then expand on what is meant-- like in an elevator pitch:
1) High paying jobs through helping small business.
2) Better future for your children by making education affordable.
3) Making sure health care affordable for everyone, (government based so you can explore better job opportunities).
4) Fairness: Civil rights for everyone.
5) Fair and humane immigration policies.
6) Policies based on science and common sense not superstition.

Something about honesty too.

What are your ideas for a motto/slogan/elevator pitch?

#OMAGA Obama Made America Great Again

Use it on Twitter and Instagram. Make it go viral.
If Trump sees it he will not be pleased.

Well Roe V Wade may finally be history

And that will make Trump a folk hero for evangelicals for a generation. A few thousand voters in the rust belt are going to have changed American history for a generation-- how ironic.

Monsters are Due on Maple Street

It's fairly easy to cause sow division among diverse Democrats by appealing to long-held grudges, unfounded criticism, suspicions, tribalism, and unbending loyalty. See Rod Serling's "Monsters are Due on Maple Street" for how turning on the lights in a few houses during a blackout soon has neighbors going to war with each other. The Russians and GOP operatives recognize how easy it is to sow discord, using their enemies as unwitting agents, and then let the consequences run their course, as they did during the last election. We must be vigilant, if we want a blue wave in the fall.


Comey as the naive idealist

Comey has always come across as a naive idealist to me-- a boy scout who wants to do right, but not fully equipped for political reality in the USA of the 2010's. From his comments on Hillary Clinton in July 2016 as "extremely careless" to his letter to Congress two weeks before the election (because he promised to keep Congress informed, but didn't understand the obvious political ramifications), to his inability to deal with an egotist like Trump who was clearly afraid of an honest man like Comey, the evidence is clear. Comey understood that he was dealing with key, sensitive situations, but lacked the political insight to prevent events from spinning out of control.

I think an argument can be made that Comey's actions (and the FBI investigations) so impacted Hillary Clinton, that she not only lost the election (popular vote notwithstanding), but her reputation with the American people still has not recovered (her favorability was mired in the 30's % even a year after the election in December 2017)-- which is incredible given that only 5 years ago she was the most popular political figure in the USA at over 60% approval. I doubt that Comey in any way intended this consequence. But the result was not only losing a chance for a historical Presidency, but instead we have the embarrassment of Trump.

The irony is that Trump's removal of Comey helped initiate the Mueller investigation, which at a minimum may help impede the damage Trump is doing to the American body politic for the time being.

It's not so much what Democrats have done wrong, but what the GOP has done right

The Democratic Party has been on a losing arc since 2010, with the exception of President Obama's re-election. With a huge majority in the House, a small majority in the Senate and 2/3 of state houses in GOP control, things really have changed since 2008, when things were polarized in the Democratic Party's favor. Why?

It's not so much that Democrats have made mistakes, but that the GOP has been proactive.

Why increasing influence of Fox news have pushed the country rightwards:
"A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined"
GOP gained over a 6% voter advantage attributable to Fox in 2008...
Fox's influence reinforces GOP/conservative influence from talk radio and conservative internet sites.
Basic point, is that GOP is propagandizing their anti-government beliefs far better than Democrats or even Democratic Socialists like Bernie are promoting their pro-government solutions, which will eventually doom progressive legislation.

Much much better organization at the local level, due to
"Democrats are losing to Republicans at the state level, and badly. Here's why."
Basically, the Koch brother's organizations are executing a master plan to gain GOP dominance

A plan to get control in 2010 in order gerrymander election districts for a generation.
(see post just above for how) and http://theweek.com/articles/625095/how-rig-elections-legal-way
"In the 2010 election cycle, the Republican Party took gerrymandering to a new level by creating a national redistricting strategy. The GOP's plan, which they called REDMAP, was to "keep or win Republican control of state legislatures with the largest impact on congressional redistricting..." "After pouring $30 million into state legislature races — a huge sum for down-ballot fights — the Republicans gained a record 680 state seats. That gave them total control of 25 state legislatures, which between them oversaw the redistricting process for 40 percent of congressional House of Representatives seats."
"AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016"

Resulting in this problem:
Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country
Why? See all the points above.
Disbelieve this kind of poll at one's own peril.

So what's the solution? An organized effort to promote Democratic ideas, a combination of progressive and moderate ideas that appeal to people's sense of how the country might be better than it is. The first point is to convince people the federal government can be benevolent and extremely capable, sometimes even more capable than private enterprise. For example, combining helping people create and grow small businesses while providing a means to affordable universal health care.

Hillary Clinton: It was "intervention by Comey"

Hillary Clinton says Comey was 'the determining factor' in 2016 loss
Dylan Stableford

In the book, Clinton places blame for her loss on many factors, including the Russian intervention, Bernie Sanders, the media, Donald Trump’s reality show-like run and her own campaign.

But on “Today,” Clinton was unequivocal in assessment.

“I think the determining factor was the intervention by Comey,” she said. “Absent that, I believe and I think the evidence shows, I would have won.”

“Did you make enough mistakes yourself to lose the election without any of the other things you talk about?” NBC’s Matt Lauer asked. “I will say no,” Clinton replied.
I think her analysis is 100% accurate regarding Comey-- she would have won comfortably in the Electoral College, and several Democrats would probably be Senators today who aren't, if it wasn't for Comey's last minute interference. Hillary ran a solid campaign that emphasized her strengths and downplayed her weaknesses, but there was really nothing she or anyone else could do about Comey.

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined It could even be flipping elections.
by Dylan Matthews

"Fox News is, by far, America’s dominant TV news channel; in the second quarter of 2017, Fox posted 2.35 million total viewers in primetime versus 1.64 million for MSNBC and 1.06 million for CNN. Given that Fox was founded by a longtime Republican Party operative and has almost exclusively hired conservative commentators, talk radio hosts, and the like to host its shows, it would stand to reason that its dominance on basic cable could influence how Americans vote, perhaps even tipping elections.

A new study in the American Economic Review (the discipline’s flagship journal), with an intriguing and persuasive methodology, finds exactly that. Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimate that watching Fox News directly causes a substantial rightward shift in viewers’ attitudes, which translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates.

The effects of CNN and MSNBC on centrist voters are mostly negligible; MSNBC, in 2000 and 2004, modestly increased odds of voting Republican, before it turned left in time for 2008. But Fox News increases Republican voting odds for centrists, for Democratic viewers, and even, in 2004 and 2008, for Republicans already strongly inclined to vote that way. Watching three minutes more of Fox News per week in 2008 would have made the typical Democratic or centrist voter 1 percentage point likelier to vote Republican that year.

“Fox is substantially better at influencing Democrats than MSNBC is at influencing Republicans," the authors find. While most Fox viewers are Republican, a sizable minority aren't, and they're particularly suggestible to the channel's influence. In 2000, they estimate that 58 percent of Fox viewers who were initially Democrats changed to supporting the Republican candidate by the end of the election cycle; in 2004, the persuasion rate was 27 percent, and 28 percent in 2008. MSNBC, by contrast, only persuaded 8 percent of initial Republicans to vote Democratic in the 2008 cycle."

In a way it's the number one reason why the GOP won in 2010, was able to gerrymander with impunity and why Hillary really lost and there is very little to be done about it-- the damage is done.

The actual study is here https://web.stanford.edu/~ayurukog/cable_news.pdf
Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization
Gregory J. Martin∗ and Ali Yurukoglu

It's technical but well worth it.

"In other results, we estimate that removing Fox News from cable television during the 2000 election cycle would have reduced the overall Republican presidential vote share by 0.46 percentage points. The predicted effect increases in 2004 and 2008 to 3.59 and 6.34 percentage points, respectively. This increase is driven by increasing viewership on Fox News as well as increasingly conservative slant. Finally, we find that the cable news channels’ potential for influence on election outcomes would be substantially larger were ownership to become more concentrated."

Imagine how much the effect was by 2016!
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